The Advantages and Disadvantages of  ISO Speeds

ISO Speeds

ISO Speeds

Camera ISO is one of the three pillars of photography every photographer should thoroughly understand it, to get the most out of their equipment.

The following shares the advantages and disadvantages of the different ISO speeds.

What is ISO?

In very basic terms, ISO is the level of sensitivity of your camera to available light. The lower the ISO number, the less sensitive it is to the light, while a higher ISO number increases the sensitivity of your camera.

you need to change your aperture and ISO settings on digital cameras canon EOS

ISO Speed Example:
ISO 100 – 1 second
ISO 200 – 1/2 of a second
ISO 400 – 1/4 of a second
ISO 800 – 1/8 of a second
ISO 1600 – 1/16 of a second
ISO 3200 – 1/32 of a second



ISO Speeds 1 – Fast ISO Ratings (ISO 500 Upwards)

The Disadvantages

Fast ISO ratings definitely produce lower quality images. The faster the speed, the lower the quality produced. Other than that, the amount of noise will increase. Also be prepared to see less realistic colors and losses in overall sharpness.

The Advantages

With fast ISO ratings, you get to handhold your DSLR in low light. When the shutter speed you use is one that fast enough, you get to freeze subjects that are moving under low light.

Photographers often use extremely high ISO speeds to add grain and this is in fact a common trick used to add in the mood. This technique works great when converting images to black and white.

Fast shutter speeds best suit photographers who want to shutter speeds that are fast enough to refrain from camera shake. Fast shutter speeds are normally utilized when photographing sports since photographers need to freeze their subjects’ actions.

ISO Speeds #2 – Medium ISO Ratings (ISO 250-400)

The Disadvantages

The disadvantage to using a medium ISO rating is that the colors may appear looking less accurate, or perhaps saturated.

The Advantages

The quality of the image produced with Medium ISO ratings is very similar to low ISO ratings. The great benefit here is that you have access to faster shutter speeds as well as smaller apertures.

Mid-ISO ratings are versatile ratings. In other words, this means that it is the best option to go for when it comes to general photography. Medium ISO ratings are also very good choices of ISO speed for beginner photographers.

ISO Speeds #3 – Low ISO Ratings (ISO 50-200)

The Disadvantages

A well-known disadvantage to low ISO speeds is camera shake while hand-holding the camera. When you use low this and shoot photographs in any other conditions other than bright conditions, you will realize that the shutter speed is slower.

When the shutter speed is slower, it will blur out moving subjects of your photographs. This may not be the photography effect you want. Also, when you use wider apertures in attempt to allow more light to enter, the depth-of-field may be limited.

The Advantages

When you use low ISO speeds, the quality of the photographs that your camera’s sensor gives you are the very best ones. Both tonal reproduction and colors will be of very high quality. Despite all that, the amount of noise produced will be at its minimal. It will also help blur moving objects.

Photographers who want to produce high quality and enhanced images normally use slow shutter speeds. Landscape photographs are great examples of a photography genre that best suits low ISO speeds.

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When to increase ISO

You should increase the ISO when there is not enough light for the camera to be able to quickly capture an image. Anytime I shoot indoors without a flash, I set my ISO to a higher number to be able to capture the moment without introducing blur to the image. Other cases where you might want to increase ISO are when you need to get ultra-fast shots.

The component within your camera that can change sensitivity is called “image sensor” or simply “sensor”. It is the most important (and most expensive) part of a camera and it is responsible for gathering light and transforming it into an image. With increased sensitivity, your camera sensor can capture images in low-light environments without having to use a flash.

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